Family Law courts in California may issue emergency property control and restrain orders in certain divorce cases. But this is a rarity because courts generally do not like to make any property orders while a divorce case is on. Your lawyer has to be aware of this. So you must only make a request that is supported by extremely strong facts and laws. The rare instances when a court may grant an emergency property order can be as follows –
Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders (ATROs) Immediately after a divorce petition has been filed and served to the other spouse, a number of emergency orders automatically come into effect. Such restraining orders are very common. They include prohibition from cashing, transferring, canceling, borrowing against, or changing the name of any beneficiaries of any kind of insurance or assets. Insurance coverage of health, life, and automobile for the spouse and children cannot be affected also.
To maintain status quo of spouses The court may issue orders that will prevent either or both the spouses from concealing, transferring, disposing of or hindering the disposal of any property. Any action taken by the spouses has to follow the usual course of divorce proceedings. Such an order helps to maintain the status quo of the spouses and prevents one spouse from being taken advantage of by the other. The order can be given when a divorce case is pending.
To preserve the property If the court feels that a spouse may ‘waste’ the property when the divorce is still pending, it may issue emergency orders that will help decide the temporary possession, use, and a spouse’s control over any real or personal property. The marital residence or any rental or commercial property is included in real property. Such emergency orders ensure the prevention of any misuse of the said property. You will have to provide the court with actual facts when requesting for such emergency orders. The 2 lawyers representing the 2 spouses are expected to try and settle any such problems first. If they fail to reach a conclusion only then should they approach the court.
Disbursal of payments Even before a divorce has been granted, the Family Court may issue an order naming one spouse as the payer of liens or any encumbrances on the property – payment of mortgage if it’s a house and payment of the daily expenses, if it’s a family-owned business.